It’s the 1970s…tumultuous years that required strong and wise school leadership.
- The ongoing Vietnam war was on everyone’s mind. Mrs. Hopkins' Social Studies classes had firsthand insight as she read letters from her soldier son on the steps of the old building.
- With race consciousness at an all-time high, black student leaders founded the Black Essence Society to provide support to one another and to sponsor cultural events to educate the majority group about African Americans.
- Sister Ann Peterson handed over the reins as Principal to Sr. Jean Baptiste Nicholson in the fall of 1974.
- Ursuline was accepted as a member of NYSPHSPAA and Section 1 Athletics.
- Annual “Mission Days” brought the school together to raise money for the missions.
- There was an outside smoking “lounge” - cigarettes were allowed but definitely not encouraged … Yikes!
- In 1979, “Sooner or Later,” a made-for-TV movie, was filmed at Ursuline and a few Koalas made their acting debut as extras!
I worked answering the phones in the convent in freshman year (1973-74) to help pay the tuition. I recall each nun had a special sounding sequence with the bells. I would plug in the correct sequence, and that's how she knew the phone was for her. She then had to come all the way down to answer the phone.
We were required to take typing class and to this day, I will never forget how to place my fingers on those keys (A S D F J K L ;)! However, I bet the students today are not required to take typing class!
I remember we had a "smoking section" outside and no showers after gym class!
We put on a talent show in senior year. I have fond memories of our dancing/singing/comedy acts and we all had a great time doing that on our old stage in our old gym.
Another very fond memory was in both Junior and Senior years, when I was lucky enough to take Mrs. Mary Jane McCann's "Christian Parenthood" class. In Senior year, we had the class in her house, sitting in a circle on the floor--which we all loved! She really taught us so much about effectively (and compassionately) communicating through "active listening" and "I-Messages." I was trying them out on my parents and siblings, with not such great success, but I continued to practice throughout my life, and still use those skills today. Talk about a teacher who touches your life! She literally shaped me into the person I am today.
Jeanine Keyes-Plante ‘77